Woman red hair looking in mirror with makeup

Best Skincare Routine Before Your Makeup According To Your Skin Type

The secret to flawless makeup isn’t just about which color palette you choose or the types of brushes you use to apply. It begins with the canvas itself – your skin. The importance of skin prep before makeup is paramount in achieving a radiant and long-lasting look. The key to a flawless finish lies in the foundation you lay, and we’re not referring to the liquid, cream, or powder you apply to achieve an even skin tone. We’re talking about the real foundation, which we take so seriously at Foundation Skincare, it’s literally in our name.  

Read on to find out what to apply on your face before makeup according to your skin type and what else you can do to achieve your best look. 

Understanding Your Skin Type

Achieving a healthy, radiant complexion requires you to tailor your skincare routine to your unique skin type. Products that can help boost moisture for dry skin can leave a greasy look on someone with oily-prone skin. Conversely, products that help to reduce oil might dry out someone else’s skin. Here’s what you should know about different skin types:

  • Oily: Oily or acne-prone skin produces an excess of sebum, a sticky substance your body produces to keep skin moist. Too much oil can give your skin a shiny and greasy appearance, particularly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). According to the American Academy of Dermatology, individuals with oily skin may have thicker skin and fewer wrinkles but they are often more susceptible to enlarged pores, acne, blackheads, and whiteheads.
  • Dry: Dry skin tends to produce less natural oil, leading to an appearance of dullness or flakiness. Lacking elasticity, dry skin often feels tight and shows signs of dehydration, making it more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, it has a tendency to become itchy or irritated.
  • Combination: For those with combination skin, both dryness and oiliness are common issues. Often, only the T-zone will be oily, while cheeks are dry or normal. This skin type may also change with seasons or due to factors like stress and hormonal fluctuations.
  • Sensitive: Sensitive skin is especially vulnerable to external irritants, such as dyes, fragrances, or harsh weather conditions. When it comes into contact with an irritant, skin will become red, itchy, or feel like it’s burning. Though it is often thought of a specific skin type, it is possible to have a combination of sensitive and oily skin, or sensitive and dry skin.  
  • Normal: Neither too dry nor too oily, normal skin is less prone to acne breakouts, flakiness, and feelings of greasiness or tightness. Pores are less noticeable on normal skin, skin texture is smoother, and skin tone more even. There are no specific issues or sensitivities for those with normal skin.

General Skincare Routine When Prepping for Makeup

Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or no specific skin issues at all, it’s important to follow a regular skincare routine before applying makeup (and after removing it, too!). Here are some routine ideas according to skin type.  

Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

The best skincare routine for oily skin involves products that help to kill bacteria on the skin that leads to breakouts, reduce inflammation, and moisturize without increasing oil production. Foundation Skincare recommends using the following products from our collection:

Morning routine:


Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

The best skincare routine for dry skin involves products that help to hydrate skin and protect the skin barrier. Foundation Skincare recommends using the following products from our collection:

  • Hyaluronic Acid Lotion: As a powerful humectant, hyaluronic acid locks moisture into the skin for the deepest level of hydration.
  • Vitamin C Lotion 20%: Restores your skin barrier, which helps to protect against toxins and keep skin moisturized while stimulating collagen production.
  • Niacinamide Lotion 10%: That’s right, niacinamide works just as well for dry skin as it does for oily skin by increasing the production of ceramides (healthy fats in the skin), which strengthens the skin barrier and improves the skin’s ability to stay hydrated.
  • Firming Neck Cream: Restores moisture for smoother, softer skin in the delicate neck and décolletage areas while softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  

Morning routine: 


Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

All of the dermatologist-formulated products in the Foundation Skincare collection can be safely layered and it is highly recommended, especially for those with combination skin. The best products for this skin type include 

Morning routine: 


Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin

Individuals with sensitive skin may steer clear of potent ingredients like prescription retinoids and azelaic acid to avoid irritation, but Foundation Skincare has formulated our products with even the most sensitive skin in mind. Every product is suitable for sensitive skin, though you may want to introduce such products gradually while your skin adjusts.    

Morning routine:

  • Cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser.
  • Every other day over the course of 2-3 weeks, apply a single pump of FS Vitamin C Lotion 20%. As your skin adjusts you can start to use every morning, and then work your way to using twice daily.
  • Apply FS Niacinamide Lotion 10%.
  • Hydrate skin with Hyaluronic Acid Lotion.
  • Apply Azelaic Acid 14% Cream. Like FS Vitamin C Lotion 20%, you want to introduce this product gradually over 2-3 weeks as your skin adjusts. Start off by using every other day, switch to once daily, and then if you are responding well, you can use twice a day.
  • Apply sunscreen of SPF 30 (50+ preferred) to protect against sun damage.


Skincare Routine for Normal Skin

Having normal skin with no specific skin issues does not give you a free pass to skip the skincare routine altogether. You will have noticed by now that all of the skincare products in the Foundation Skincare line contain multi-tasking ingredients that benefit all skin types, from hydrating with Hyaluronic Acid Lotion to stimulating collagen production for a more youthful, radiant complexion. We recommend the following skincare routine:  

Morning routine: 


Additional Tips for a Flawless Makeup Base

Prepping your skin with a customized skincare routine is equally important, whether you’re applying makeup or going au naturale. Some other steps you can take for a flawless makeup base:

  • Use an alcohol-free toner just after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine.
  • Use a quality eye cream morning and night to prevent creases, which can be highlighted by makeup. 
  • Always use clean brushes to apply makeup and prevent acne breakouts.
  • Every night, remove your makeup. Sleeping in your makeup increases the chance of acne breakouts by clogging pores.
By incorporating quality skincare products into your pre-makeup routine, you not only create a smooth canvas but also nurture the health and vitality of your skin. Remember, beautiful makeup starts with a well-prepped, healthy foundation. Elevate your beauty regimen by investing in the nourishment and care your skin deserves. Learn more about maintaining healthy skin in the FS Journal.
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